#LazySaturdaze: VR Black Friday Deals and Two New Innovations

Hello my field daisies!

Today I feel like talking about Virtual Reality. Usually I would do so on #TechThursdays, and I would do #LazySaturdaze where I would post a lot of fun gifs, but since Thanksgiving was Thursday, my schedule is a little off. Also I didn’t post Friday because Friday is #MyDay, and I get to choose whether or not I want to post 🙂

Ever since working for VR artist management/production company, RealVirtue, I have been fascinated with virtual reality. It’s such a new field, and everyone is trying their best to find a way to make it the next big thing. Whether it be for entertainment, gaming, fashion, social justice, science, travel, etc., VR has so many wonderful uses.

However the technology for VR is still too expensive and clunky for mass consumption. For Black Friday this year, the HTC Vive has a $100 off promotion, but the whole system still costs $699, something I’m not willing to purchase, especially since you are tethered to a computer. I feel like this takes you out of the whole experience.

There are still tons of cheaper options, and honestly they give a pretty decent immersive experience. These cheaper headsets use your phone as the screen and are extremely popular. When I was traveling to Portland, I saw these options everywhere. Or well just the airport and Walgreens, but still isn’t that crazy? I put pictures below. Can’t attest for their quality, but man they must have a great marketing and sales team.

img_5291 img_5312

 

If you really really want to try VR and don’t want to spend a lot of money, the dirt cheap option is Google Cardboard. Coachella gave Google Cardboards away at their latest festival, creating a whole 360 VR experience for fans who couldn’t get tickets and for ticket holders to re-experience the show from whole new angles.

Samsung’s Gear VR is becoming widely popular in the prosumer market. They have a holiday deal right now where you can get a Samsung Galaxy 7 or 7 edge and get a free Gear VR as well as a $250 Rewards E-Certificate.

In my opinion, the Samsung’s take on VR is the best option for average consumers to create their own VR/360 content. You have to use a Samsung phone, but the package is quite incredible and simplifies the whole shooting and editing process. You use a single camera orb to film, your phone stitches and edits, and you can upload all of it to your Samsung Gear VR headset or as a 360 video.

Below is a commercial Samsung did with famous YouTuber Casey Neistat and model Karlie Kloss released a week ago. Watch the video below for more details about how the whole thing works. It’s quite entertaining too, and as a Casey Neistat fan, it’s nice to see him using his skills to expand to other realms, especially since he has ended his daily vlogs.

Here are 2 new VR innovations that are happening right now:

1: Interactive Architecture Lab Sarotis Skin

 

I have my friend Cely to thank for showing me this. Basically Sarotis is a soft wearable skin created by the Interactive Architecture Lab in the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. Like the video says, these soft inflating wearable skin lets you feel virtual reality. The interesting thing about this new technology is while the sense of sight and sound have been perfected pretty well, the sense of taste, touch and smell is still underdeveloped. This Sarotis wearable skin is a really big technological leap for the sense touch, and I can see it incorporated to make a lot of VR experiences more realistic.

2: Intel Project Alloy “Merged Reality”

This is a new term for me: merged reality experiences, where real world objects are brought into VR. If you wanted to find an inbetween for VR and AR, I guess merged reality would be it. The Project Alloy headset allows you to see parts of the real environment, such as people, in a virtual environment. Intel is not planning on selling this device on their own. They consider it as an internal development kit for other companies to use.

I think it’s kind of interesting. Imagine a theater show where the audience members put on these headsets and see the actors in a whole new virtual world. There would be no need for set design. It would all be done virtually.

In my opinion, VR and AR will one day become combined. They will be these cool fashionable shades that people wear daily. When they want AR, the glasses will be clear, and people will be able to things see traffic directions on the road ahead of them. Then when they want to see VR, the shades will go dark, and you will be able to watch VR movies and experiences. Maybe merged reality can be fit into this vision as well. I imagine a kid wearing these glasses watching VR, and his mom coming in to call him for dinner. This merged reality will allow people to enter the VR world and bring people back to the real world.

Love ya’ll and thanks for reading!

Hope you have a daisyish night!

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